Anchorage police shoot and kill man armed with knife, chief says

An Anchorage police officer shot and killed a man while responding to a report of a fight at an apartment in Spenard on Tuesday evening.

At a press conference later Tuesday night, Anchorage Police Chief Chris Tolley said two officers responded to the apartment at West 32nd Avenue and Arctic Boulevard. Tolley would not say exactly what prompted the shooting or whether one or both officers fired. Medics came and pronounced one male dead at the scene, Tolley said.

The man was armed with a knife, Tolley said, adding that alcohol may have been a factor, though he would not say why police thought so.

A homicide unit and a crime scene team were investigating the scene Tuesday night, where a sheet was draped over the apartment's open doorway. All that could be seen through the front window was a miniature Christmas tree. Neighbors in the two-building complex looked on quietly from their balconies as investigators arrived.

APD and the Office of Special Prosecution and Appeals will determine whether the shooting was in accordance with police policy and whether it was justified, respectively.

Both officers who responded have been placed on temporary administrative leave, according to APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. Their names will be released after 72 hours, Castro said.

APD's last officer-involved shooting was in February 2015, Tolley said. In that case, a man died after leading police on a car chase and exchanging gunfire with officers in the neighborhood of Fairview.